Black History in St. Lucie is a Lasting Legacy in America’s Art & Literature
History enthusiasts will fall in love with St. Lucie because of its vibrant black history that has been etched into our rich art, literature & culture. A great way to experience and learn about black history in St. Lucie is to take a journey on one of our self-guided heritage trails. Walk in the footsteps of greats such as Zora Neale Hurston, and the group of young African American painters known as the Highwaymen.
In the 1950s, a group of 26 African American artists (25 men and 1 woman) began painting Florida landscapes which they sold out of the trunks of their cars, as a gallery showing would be out of the question at the time. Decades later, this loosely-knit group of artists would become known as the Florida Highwaymen and inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame. Today, the Florida Highwaymen are recognized as an important part of American folk history. Take a self-guided driving tour of the Highwaymen Trail in Fort Pierce to discover their fascinating journey and how they embraced visual art to overcome adversity. The trail includes a stop at the home and art studio of A.E. “Beanie” Backus – one of the country’s most well-known Florida landscape painters who was also a mentor to some of the first Florida Highwaymen.